STORY BY CORY WOODROOF | PHOTOS BY WHITNEY JARRELD
Though the final buzzer has sounded on the school year, county athletes got a rewarding overtime session at the annual WillCo Awards.
The festivities, held at The Factory at Franklin Thursday night, recognized the best and brightest athletes in Williamson County Schools. Finalists, family, friends and fans all gather to see whose names will be called to take in the cumulative prize for yearly athletic accomplishments.
In his opening speech, county athletic director Jeremy Qualls listed a number of notable county alumni who have gone on to compete at the next level. He then motioned to the athletes present.
“You, in this room tonight, will join those ranks,” he told the crowd of finalists. “Congratulations.”
Brentwood’s Skylar Coffey, a nationally-ranked wrestler and state gold medalist in track/field, and Page’s Faith Wilken, a Trevecca basketball signee, took home the Male and Female Athlete of the Year honors, respectively.
Brentwood’s powerhouse volleyball program, fresh off a sixth-straight state title, and Franklin’s basketball team, the school’s best boys hoops team in three decades, were named the Female and Male Teams of the Year for the county.
Lady Bruins volleyball coach Barbara Campbell was named Coach of the Year for Female Sports, while Franklin boys hoops leader Darrin Joines earned the same honor for Male Sports.
A standout moment came when Nolensville baseball player Drew Estes received the Courage Award from Dr. Matt Harris for the bravery shown his past battle with leukemia.
A video showed his journey and featured insight from Estes’ family, his teammates and his coach, Zach Hudson.
“I didn’t know that video was happening, but I’m glad they didn’t embarrass me too much,” Estes said with a smile after receiving the award. “It just meant a lot to see that happen, and it just means a lot to be here.”
Williamson County Schools Interim Superintendent Jason Golden arrived to present the coaches’ honors and shared his admiration for the event.
“When our board meets monthly, they have a code of ethics,” he told the crowd. “The very first line in that code of ethics includes these special words, ‘students first.’ And one of the things I love about this event is that we put students first.”
Golden also shared a bit of bittersweet news about the evening’s emcee Qualls; this would be his last WillCos, an event he founded, as the county’s AD.
It was announced that Qualls will soon be transitioning to a new position of leadership within the county’s school system.
“We want to give a special thank you to him tonight because after this fifth-annual event, he’s taking on a new responsibility with Williamson County Schools,” Golden said. “He’s going to become our career and tech director for our system-wide programs.
“And we wanted to make sure we didn’t leave tonight without a special thank you for his efforts. Thank you, Jeremy.”
Below is the full list of winners for the night.
2019 WillCo Directors Cup Winners
D1: Brentwood High School
D2: Nolensville High School
Female Athlete of the Year
Faith Wilken, Page
Male Athlete of the Year
Skylar Coffey, Brentwood
Female Team of the Year
Male Team of the Year
Female Sports Coach of the Year
Barbara Campbell, Brentwood volleyball
Male Sports Coach of the Year
Darrin Joines, Franklin
Media Student of the Year
Zach Gaspie, Page
Student Sections of the Year
D1: Indy Nation, Independence
D2: NHS Section, Nolensville
Softball Player of the Year
Kaitlyn Woodside, Summit
Baseball Player of the Year
Robert Hassell, Independence
Girls Soccer Player of the Year
Anna Augustini, Ravenwood
Boys Soccer Player of the Year
Sam Khomtchenko, Brentwood
Girls Track Player of the Year
Avery McMullen, Centennial
Boys Track Player of the Year
Jett Kinder, Brentwood
Girls Tennis Player of the Year
Georgia Fischer, Brentwood
Boys Tennis Player of the Year
Jack Pianta, Independence
Dancer of the Year
Molly Robinson, Brentwood
Cheerleader of the Year
Megan Zaves, Ravenwood
Emily Jackson, Centennial
Drake Austin, Brentwood
Skylar Bixby, Independence
Skylar Coffey, Brentwood
Faith Wilken, Page
Reese Glover, Franklin
Football Player of the Year
T.J. Sheffield, Independence
Offensive Football Player of the Year
Brian Garcia, Ravenwood
Defensive Football Players of the Year
Bryan Rice, Ravenwood
Tori Carpenter, Brentwood
Shelly Jang, Ravenwood
Jack Morris, Franklin
Girls Cross Country
Sadie Cook, Independence
Boys Cross Country
Davis Bove, Centennial
WillCo Scholar Athlete
Sara Sanders, Page
Maher Builders Sportsmanship Award ($5000 scholarship)
Madison Cunningham, Brentwood
Bone & Joint Institute of Tennessee Athletic Trainer of the Year
Brandi Mangrum, Independence